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Do Religious Beliefs Explain Preferences for Income Redistribution? Experimental Evidence

Ilja Neustadt ()

CESifo Economic Studies, 2011, vol. 57, issue 4, pages 623-652

Abstract: Due to the mixed empirical evidence bearing on the economic determinants, beliefs have been at the centre of attention of research into preferences for income redistribution. We elicit preferences for income redistribution through a Discrete Choice Experiment performed in 2008 in Switzerland and relate them to several behavioural determinants, in particular to religious beliefs. Estimated marginal willingness to pay (WTP) is positive among those who do not belong to a religious denomination, and negative otherwise. However, the marginal WTP is shown to increase with a higher degree of religiosity. Moreover, those who state that luck or connections play a crucial role in determining economic success exhibit significantly higher WTP values than those who deem effort to be decisive. (JEL codes: C35, C93, D63, H29) Copyright The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Munich. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com, Oxford University Press.

Date: 2011
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